A VETERANS DAY MESSAGE
From the Desk of Assemblyman Charles Lavine
On November 11, we will again pay tribute, as we do each year, to the men and women of our great country who serve in the armed forces. We will recognize the sacrifices they make each and every day in wars and conflicts throughout the world; in remote areas of foreign lands, to ensure and protect our freedom in the United States. We will acknowledge the daily hardship their families endure while they are thousands of miles away, missing concerts and soccer games, birthdays and bedtime stories.
As they do each year on November 11, officials will gather at Arlington National Cemetery to pay their respects at the Tomb of the Unknowns. A color guard representing each branch of the military will march in progression, a wreath will be placed at the tomb, and taps will be played.
Throughout our towns and cities similar ceremonies and parades will mark Veterans Day which celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans. We will wave our flags and all be filled with pride and gratitude for those who choose to serve our country.
Now, with nine years of war in Iraq behind us and the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan expected to culminate in 2014, we can be grateful that our sons and daughters, fathers and mothers are coming home; safe from the dangers of war.
Yet, for many of the returning veterans, transitioning from military assignment to civilian life will be challenging. Some will face illness, isolation or trauma. Readjusting to family life may be a struggle. Acquiring the skills needed to find employment in the workplace today after years of military service may add to an already difficult job search.
I have worked hard to ensure that companies and government agencies are bridging the gap by learning how to read military resumes and facilitating programs to hire veterans. I am working with my colleagues in the Assembly to help our veterans find good paying jobs. Several measures that I have sponsored or supported include tax credits for small businesses that hire veterans.
The Veterans Employment Act, which requires the state to develop a list of eligible veterans who would be given priority for temporary jobs in state agencies, has been approved in both houses. In addition, I helped pass a law that requires the state Division of Veterans’ Affairs to provide an Internet connection to correlate military occupations and skills into civilian translations and terms.
To recognize and thank our heroes for all they have done, I also sponsored a measure to implement a veteran speaker education program so veterans can share their experiences and provide information on American military history.
Additionally, my colleagues joined me in passing legislation that would grant military organizations tax-exempt status on partial use of their buildings for events.